NJ.con best bagel rankings

kinda silly- and terrible rankings but could make for interesting topic.

Also- what places do you guys like for bagels? And what are the preferred bagels: dough bombs, maybe chewy on outside and smaller, etc? Any non-traditional types? What about any good lox spots?

As for me - bagel oven is my fav in area- in Red Bank- then a tie between hot bagels in RB( have to ask for less well done- they tend to overcook them a bit) and bagel masters in Shrewsbury (ditto). Usually end up a BM du to proximity and fact that they have best pork roll egg and cheese to boot.

Hot bagel bakery in ocean was pretty good- but have only been once- and Rook is across street to boot.

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Did you really mean to say NJ.con?

Either way, it’s hillarious!

Bagels are just about the only thing I eat for breakfast. I’m not big on breakfast, maybe only eat it twice a week. If I do, it is a toasted bagel with butter. I actually have a couple of blog posts on bagel shops. This one reviews three different NJ spots while I have ones devoted to Old Time Bagels in Hazlet and Eli’s in Aberdeen.

For years I felt Eli’s had the best. Only recently I have come to realize how overly salty their everything bagels were. Same with Sheepshead in Holmdel. They put out a uniquely crunchy bagel, but their everythings just totally sap my mouth dry. I go for sesame when I stop there now. I’d say my favorite bagel currently is from Atlantic Bagel Co. in Atlantic Highlands. You can read the above links for more details.

A story about Eli’s. My dad and I ate there every single Friday morning for years. My entire college existence I never had class on Fridays and when I worked part-time, never seemed to work on Friday. Literally, every Friday: toasted everything with butter, coffee, copy of the NY post (maybe reading about a Rangers win), sit and relax for a bit. When I started working full-time, we switched to Saturdays. He passed away last year in June. I avoided the place for months. Finally went back once, had a conversation with the owner, and barely got through eating the bagel and coffee. Have not been back since. Too many memories.


Talk about nonkosher…

My favorite bagels are at the Bagel Hut on Rt 34 in Aberdeen. Damn they are good. The guy I assume is the owner means well and is nice, but honestly every time he is there everything moves slower and there are issues with orders. The bagels are still worth it and it is right around the corner.

If we are at my in-laws in Middletown, my favorite is Hole Lotta Bagels (sp?) on Rt 35. They have this multigrain one that is super yummy.

For me, the list stops and starts at Bagel Oven in Red Bank. As close to an old school bagel as we’ll get these days. Meaning, smaller, not big doughy rolls. Nice and hard on the outside and soft inside. I trend towards the classics, not the spinach/cheddar/broccoli/blueberry combos that are popular now, so, take that into account as well.

Interesting side note, my daughter interned at a large magazine’s food department a few summers ago. They did a( blind )bagel taste test. In this highly unscientific study among an intern a copywrighter and a few editors, Bagel Oven came out on top. Represented were somewhere in North Jersey, the Park Slope place Bagel Hole, one of the Manhattan darlings and another Jersey place.

So, there’s that. :wink:

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Montreal bagels are completely different from US bagels, and still rank tops in international rankings methinks. a montreal bagel from the freezer is better than anything local out of the oven.

agree- love bagel oven/ Just wish there was more parking and the place wasn’t such a DUMP with service to match…although I suppose that may be part of the charm.

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sounds like BagelMasters in Shrewsbury- three people ahead of me and somehow I’m there 15 min for bagel with butter. 20+ if I need pork roll egg and cheese…(but damned they make it good)

+1 for Bagel Oven…the place by Foodtown isn’t too bad either…I don’t get the appeal of Bagel Masters really…always found the bagels there too soft?? Maybe I’m missing something, but to me they are only good for making a sandwich on…

Best bagels bar none shut down several years ago though…Elmora Bagel in Elizabeth on Elmora Ave…ah the bagels of my youth. Was there for almost 50 years I would guess

I love the bagels from Bay Ave Bakery in Highlands but don’t tell anyone. They make a whole-wheat everything bagel. Yum!

Ohhhh the old Monmouth County debate over the best bagel. It always comes down to Bagel Oven and Bagel Masters!!! If I had a dollar for every time I’ve read this debate between here and Chow…well I’d probably have $10.

Anywho…I’m a Bagel Masters guy!! I will give Bagel Oven a strong second place, however I do prefer the size of Bagel Masters better. I enjoy their everything bagel (generally my favorite) with a sausage egg and cheese sandwich, well worth the 20+ minute wait on any weekend.

@gracieggg when I had an office in the Matawan area I used to like Bagel Talk(?) on the corner of 79 & 516, they had good bagels and they used to be a decent all around deli.

What about that Sheepshead Baygels on 35 in Holmdel? It’s been there a long time but I never hear many people speak highly of it, anyone every had an experience there?

Back in the day…The Tinton Falls Deli, used to have the best “pre-made” bagels, they were my favorite ever. I don’t know where they got them, but God they were crunchy - chewy - deliciously heavenly bagels. Unfortunately I stopped going there because once I walked in the place in the morning I had the “deli stink” on me the rest of the day. Something wrong with their ventilation in that place…I did go back a couple years ago to see if they still had the same bagels but they did not. {{sigh}}

Here’s a follow up question to this thread, is there any “acceptable” frozen bagel? Notice I’m setting the bar rather low with just “acceptable” not even “good”, I have yet to find one.

Not my favorite. Well made bagels, but I always got a weird aftertaste from them. it’s probably been 10 years since I’ve been in there, however.

Yes! We lived near this one a few years ago and would go. The parking lot was REALLY annoying.

Note that Sheepshead Baygels is on 35 in Holmdel.

From reading this thread, I would say the best frozen bagel is a frozen Bagel Oven or Bagel Masters bagel :blush:


Did anybody else notice that they rated the bialy as a flavor of bagel. (No. 8)

There is just something so wrong about that.

Now where can you get a good bialy around here, that’s the question…


Hey, any info on Yorktown Bagel & Bialy in Manalapan?

These guys look awesome…

Yorktown Bagels & Bialys

300 Gordons Corner Rd,
Manalapan Township, NJ 07726
(732) 972-2299


This is my go to place for bagels and bialys. They also have onion boards (pletzels).

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Very friendly service. After a visit or two, they know who you are and what you are likely to order. Their bagels are quite unique. They are incredibly crispy on the outside. But on a bad day this can make them simply hard to eat. Everythings are too salty (and there is a slight aftertaste as another poster mentioned). It is less than a mile from my house. I go there out of necessity once I discovered some better places nearby.